An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that possesses the agility and intelligence to move a business forward provides distinct characteristics, ranging from realizing emerging opportunities faster to mitigating risk in real time and predicting future needs accurately. For hundreds of SAP customers, such a profound shift is best achieved with insight-driven, prescriptive, and personalized guidance.

Thinking about the technical and business challenges that executives face every day, two conclusions come to mind. First and foremost, ERP systems are fundamental platforms for digital transformation. And secondly, modernizing the technology to meet the demands of today’s fast-paced, ever-evolving market dynamics is a time-consuming, complex, and sustaining commitment.

When companies are prepared to move their legacy processes to our intelligent ERP, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, a wide variety of challenges inevitably arise. All organizations may not share the same goals. Shifting from a fully flexible model to one rooted in standardization may lead to confusion about the ability to adapt and modify the technology as needed. Complex discussions on integration, extensibility, data migration and management, regulatory compliance, and the cloud provider’s role may fall to the wayside among some business leaders.

The SAP Preferred Success offering enables our customers to productively overcome these challenges with targeted recommendations for optimizing and maximizing the value of their investment in SAP S/4HANA Cloud. The offering helps customers fully adopt the cloud mindset necessary for deployment and rapidly plan ongoing adoption of capabilities that bring specific value to their line-of-business priorities and align with their overall business goals.

Trusted Guide to Agility and Intelligence

By aligning expectations for SAP S/4HANA Cloud with desired business outcomes early in the life cycle, our customers can map their transition to the cloud and understand the importance of standardization with some adaptation of existing processes.

But this standardization should also be liberating. This foundational concept simplifies support for operational processes and focuses the implementation on the capabilities and functions that truly differentiate our customers from their competitors. The initial phase of SAP Preferred Success allows our customers to fully understand how the modern ERP model fills existing gaps and continues to scale at the same pace that organizational change happens.

More importantly, our customers can further build out their digital strategy by considering new capabilities and tools available that they didn’t know existed. For example, live virtual events and expert-led sessions give insight into a range of intelligent technologies embedded in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, including robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI). This targeted content uncovers the connection between what SAP S/4HANA Cloud provides and what can be achieved as their ultimate vision.

Although these experiences with SAP Preferred Success are early in the overall implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, the information provided can be an eye-opener that impacts the entire digital transformation journey for years to come. Executives are better prepared to lead their workforce through every change along the path to go-live while knowing how to minimize costs and risk and focusing on value.

Unlike some offerings, SAP Preferred Success stays engaged with SAP customers throughout the life of their deployment of SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Dedicated customer success managers help steer organizations through quarterly updates, determining which new capabilities are needed to further their digital strategy and address unique business needs. They recommend the capabilities that customers should consider enhancing or adopting and assist in the creation and completion of a minimally disruptive plan to implement relevant innovations. Adoption planning sessions are offered to dive into these new ideas, weigh their viability, and choose the best options to deliver a better technology or process experience.

Continuous Support for Scaled Digital Transformation

Many businesses are digitally transforming themselves with impressive speed. However, speed alone is not the key to a successful digital transformation. What’s needed is an agile and intelligent foundation that unlocks their true potential – whether navigating economic uncertainty, exploring new business models, ramping up toward a recovery, or paving the way to growth.

While change doesn’t come without risks, SAP Preferred Success helps prepare SAP customers to navigate them all – with the agility and intelligence of SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

For more real-life insights on SAP Preferred Success, read the rest of the series, “Heading to the Cloud with SAP Preferred Success” and discover how your entire company can accelerate cloud adoption and business outcomes with insight-driven, prescriptive, and personalized guidance and support.

Chris Lewis is global director and product manager for SAP Preferred Success, SAP S/4HANA Cloud at SAP.